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Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)
Let's be fair...
I'd like to begin with a little thought experiment. Imagine it's 1991, Terminator 2 has just come out. Also, let's imagine the internet and had existed at that time. What would many of the comments look like?
"OMG, the Terminator has gone soft! He is a father figure now! T2 has officially ruined the Franchise!"
"The T1000 doesn't look scary at all! What's with that liquid metal crap???"
"This kid actor that plays John Connor can't act!! This is supposed to be the savior of mankind??"
While browsing through the comments to Terminator: Dark Fate I thought: Why are people today so much more unforgiving than before? Is this the worst film ever? Would the same people trash T2 if it came out today?
Anyway, I watched it and I was surprised in a good way. Not to defend everything that happens here, the new Terminator has its weaknesses. You can of course critizise it for killing off John Connor and basically telling a new saviour story. You can also be angry about replacing Skynet with a new dangerous AI called Legion.
But you can also be thankful for the return of Linda Hamilton not just as a cameo but as a main character. Also, the film is a chase movie again. The main characters are on the run constantly, which is one of the key elements of T1 and 2. Also, most of the irritating humour from T3 especially is gone. Yes, Arnold has some One-liners again, but the overall feel of the film is much darker and even more violent again. Finally, the film offers some fresh ideas that haven't been seen in previous Terminator-films. Some of them I like more, some less.
So I actually agree with some critics who claimed this the third best entry in the series. I mean have you seen what happened since T2??
*T3 has a weak villain and relies too much on stupid jokes. *The one with Christian Bale had some potential but turned out quite boring and didn't really feel like a Terminator-film. *Genysis was all over the place and it had Jai Courtney (I don't know why this man is still acting...)
I'm happy with the decision of the filmmakers to ignore everything that happened after T2. Also, I have tremendous faith in James Cameron, who was involved as a writer and exec producer here, that this is close to his vision for the Terminator Franchise.
Again, I don't know why people are so hard on this film. Yes, it's not perfect. But in no way is it the worst film in the Franchise.
The Witcher (2019)
It's useless to compare it to Game of thrones
As a reader of the Geralt-books and player of the games, I have waited eagerly for this show. And it didn't disappoint.
I think it's kind of unfair to compare the Witcher to Game of Thrones as so many people here have done.
Yes, it's also fantasy but that's about it. In Game of Thrones the fantastic elements take a much smaller part. In the Witcher series we have mutants, monsters, mages, elves right from the start. Also, the Witcher is centered on one person. You guessed right, it's the witcher. Of course there are other main characters like Yennefer and Ciri, but in Game of thrones there are multiple storylines with dozens of equal characters. You can't expect that from the Witcher. The novels are also noticably shorter and less complex than GoT. So of course the series feels different. And that's a good thing.
Some things that characterize both the books and the series:
- dark humour
- long dialogue passages
- shorter episodes that are like finished (that might change if the series makes it to book 3. From here on it's an ongoing story)
- time lapses (even more apparant in the series
- references to classic fantasy mythology like fairytales, folk tales etc.
All this is captured quite well in the series. It's a tough thing adapting books and having to please fans of the games most of whom haven't read them. I think the casting is mostly excellent (although I would've preferred a red-headed Triss) and the production value is good.
I hope they make it until season 3 in which, if they stick to the books, the real fun begins.
Inland Empire (2006)
More art than film
It is so hard to rate this film... I can't say that I liked it but I can say that I was captivated and impressed by it. It's a film that doesn't feel like a typical film per se, more like an installation of modern art you can enjoy at a museum.
I'm not going to try to interpret what I saw. In a David Lynch film all interpretation attempts are either useless or failures. Instead I'm going to try to describe the ride you're in for, if you decide to watch Inland Empire. And a ride it truly is...
Laura Dern gives an amazing performance. I didn't know she could act like that but she nails both of her roles (watch it and you'll get what I mean) perfectly. She is the sole center of the film and carries it over the length of 3 hours.
Lynch used a digital camera for Inland Empire and it's very visible. At times the image is extremely grainy and the movement of the camera looks very hand-held. At times, it looks like found-footage or home-video. But on the other hand, Lynch uses the camera for more extreme close-ups of faces and objects than ever while keeping the background in focus. This creates a sense of unease because the camera is far closer than we are comfortable with in a normal dialogue scene. You have that constant feeling that something is very wrong here.
Lynch tells his "story" through lots and lots of single, fragmented scenes rather than following a single plot line. He doesn't follow a coherent narrative. In my opinion, Inland Empire is even more radical here than Lynch's previous works like Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive. It feels like at this point in his life he really doesn't give a ... about giving the viewer something to hold on to. It's more like he says: "You want to see a Lynch-film? Take that!"
So how to rate this? Well, it's well acted, uniquely filmed, very demanding, at times quite scary. It's very long but not boring. Sometimes I think Lynch overdid it here and tried to be confusing and write sense-less dialogue (or maybe I just didn't get it...) for the sake of it.
So, that's why I gave it an 8. Maybe after my third time, I'll give it a 10 or a 5. With this film anything is possible.
The Irishman (2019)
De Niro! Pacino! Pesci!
A couple of years ago I was thinking while watching Robert De Niro in some performance alongside Zac Efron: My god, this is one of the greatest actors ever. Why is he filming this garbage?? I was hoping so bad for another really great performance in a truly great movie.
Well, my hopes have been answered. Led by Martin Scorsese, De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci have pulled it off again. They created a powerful epic spanning almost 50 years. And yes, it's a mobster movie! I almost cried because I was so happy.
I'm not giving this a 10 because I think that Scorsese has made better or at least more focused movies in the past. But yes, it is a great movie and I'm so happy to see the old heroes De Niro, Pacino and Pesci one more time acting in a real quality picture. If this was the last role for any of them, it was a worthy ending.
Dark Phoenix (2019)
There isn't just a 1 or a 10, you know?
I get that Dark Phoenix isn't the best x-men movie around. I do. For me, it is Days of future past, followed by x2 and first class.
But in no way does it deserve that level of bashing it receives.
First of all, Sophie Turner's performance isn't bad. She just has a different acting style than Famke Jansen who played Jean before. I think she transports the insecurity, vulnerability and underlying strength of Jean nicely.
I also liked that this is a movie that takes itself seriously and doesn't constantly wink at you, going: "Don't ask too many questions, we know it's ridiculous. See, we're even making fun of ourselves" like MCU or even recent DCEU-movies. Of course, when there is some clumsy dialog or something it becomes more obvious if a movie doesn't 'wink' at you and wants to be taken seriously.
Of course, Dark Phoenix is a rather dark movie with not many lighthearted moments. That was to be expected if you know the source material.
Speaking of which: I'm so fed up with people who think they know how a movie version of a certain comic book story should play out. There's more than one version of this story. So why not cut the movie some slack and accept one more version, even if it's not how you imagined it?
I have one serious problem with Dark Phoenix though and it's Jessica Chastain's villainess. She doesn't have enough to do in this movie and seems to serve only as a 'threat from outside'. In my opinion, her character was just unneccessary because the story is not centered around her but Jean.
So please rate the movie fairly and not just based on your expectations. This is not the worst movie of all time. It makes some bold decisions that apparently are not to everyone's liking. So what? There are more numbers than 1 and 10 here, right?
I know Dodgeball is stupid. But I really like it! I know the movie is knee deep in clichee. But I enjoy it anyway. Is it predictable? Oh yes. But it's great fun nonetheless. How come?
First of all: the way school sport dodgeball is presented like the struggle for life and death just makes me smile all the time. It's so over the top!
Speaking of over the top: Ben Stiller acts like a pumped up maniac and owns every scene he is in with his enormous stupidity, pointless word play and even with his ridiculous facial hair. You can see he was having a blast and so was I watching him.
Call me simple but I also had a blast watching the players getting pounded by balls, wrenches or whatever is thrown at them.
Finally, being German, I almost fell off my sofa laughing when David Hasselhoff appeared as the coach of the aryan German team. Genius!
So no, this isn't the best film ever made and it's also not the best comedy in the world. But it's great fun if you like sports movies and have a soft spot for stupid humour.
Muse on top of their game
I consider myself a massive Muse fan. I first watched them live in Stuttgart in a small club in 2001 and became basically addicted to them and their music. So this is not a neutral review (which you can very rarely find on imdb anyway).
Looking back at this performance, it is especially noticeable how 'raw' it feels compared to their more recent shows which are also always great, but seem more choreographed. This is only three guys on stage, playing songs from their first two albums and developing an unusual energy. There are small mistakes in some of the songs which only add to the raw power and authenticity they had at that time. I was really worried about Matt Bellamy because he seemed so fragile and sang, played and screamed his soul out every evening. Fortunately, my fears were proved false.
It's also nice to see them play songs they very rarely play live today like 'Showbiz', 'Hyper Music' or 'Megalomania'. So if you want to find out where Muse came from before they were catapulted into mainstream, see this! It is musically vastly superior to their later 80s-pop-influenced work. I hope they will return to being just an epic kick-ass rockband in the future. With this band, you never know what happens next.
Hans Zimmer: Live in Prague (2017)
That's what good sound systems are made for!
I have a sort of ambigious opinion when it comes to Hans Zimmer. He seems a little arrogant in interviews and has created something of a recognizable 'Hans Zimmer sound', especially in the 90s with his scores of Crimson Tide, The Rock and the sorts. I didn't think he was that versatile and quite often I thought he composed some rather uninspired scores.
But then I watched this performance on bluray on a good sound system... and was blown away.
When you compare the ethereal soundtrack of Gladiator to the spiritful Lion King, to the tearjerking Chevaliers of Sangreal or to the almost brutal Dark Knight you can't help but marvel at the sheer emotional power these pieces develop.
The musicians are all top notch and seem to be having fun on stage. Zimmer also has lots of nice words to say about everybody and doesn't seem arrogant at all. He's just a musician in his element.
The performance is nicely captured and the sound quality is simply breathtaking.
See this if you're a lover of powerful, emotional music and like watching great musicians at work!
Simply the best
Friends is the best sitcom I have ever seen. I watched all ten seasons multiple times and plan on doing so again in a couple of years.
Here's what's so great about it:
1. Great characters Who wouldn't like to have friends as good and diverse as this? Yes, they're all white. But remember that Friends began at a time when it wasn't considered a neccessity to at least have a black, an asian and a gay character in the same show. I can't imagine a person who can't relate to at least one of the characters.
2. The balance Friends is quite often simple fun, sometimes it's emotional, sometimes it's almost depressingly sad. But somehow the writers always managed to clear the air with a laugh at the right moment.
3. Friends takes its characters seriously. Sure, it makes fun of them as part of the comedy but every character also has its honest, heartfelt moments without seeming forced.
4. The guest stars Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Bruce Willis, Julia Roberts, JCVD, Elle MacPherson, Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, Danny de Vito... The list goes on.
5. The 'quotability' Me and my friends still use many phrases, jokes and references from Friends in our every day life. Here are just three examples. 'My girlfriend's a lesbian.' 'Joey doesn't share food!!' 'We were on a break!'
6. The writing Although the show went on for 10 seasons, it didn't feel too repetetive. In my opinion they found a good time for the end of the show. Some storylines feel similar but never bore me. I don't know how they did it, but they did.
I subtract 1 point for the laugh track (never understood that...) and some best-off-episodes consisting mostly of funny moments from previous episodes (no-one needs that!)
Other than that, perfect entertainment!
If there is some kind of formula for the perfect action movie, Speed is chemistry of the highest level.
It gives us a short but frantic opening scene, not unlike your typical James-Bond movie. We also get to know the hero and the villain.
Then we are quickly put into an impossible situation (a bus that will explode if it runs slower than 50). Now Speed milks this situation and puts new obstacles in our hero's (and the bus') way. I know that this is classic Die Hard-Stuff. But rarely does a Die Hard-clone work so perfectly well. Everything here from a camera-, editing- and pacing point of view works extremely well.
As usual, you have to accept that we are in movieland and not in real life. But hey, at least Speed is more realistic than all 'Fast and Furious'-Parts which have done everything possible and impossible with cars except flying in space.
The acting is appropriate for this kind of movies. Keanu Reeves is such a good guy. Dennis Hopper is such a bad guy.
One thing bothers me though: I really can't stand Sandra Bullock in this phase of her career. In Speed, she is playing the role of the natural every-day girl. Okay. But Bullock portrays her as an extremely annoying, squeaking woman who repeats almost everything she says multiple times. Drink a shot every time Bullock repeats the same thing in the same or slightly different fashion. You'll be drunk long before the credits.
If you want to see what an archetypical 90's action movie looks like, see Speed.
Good, but could be so much better!
I saw this two-parter way to early when I was 10 or 11 years old. At that time, I was almost traumatized by Tim Curry as Pennywise. So, returning to the movie many years later, I expected to be scared again. But I wasn't, maybe some of you can relate to that. Why is that? Let me clarify by imaging the 'perfect' version of 'It'.
Don't get me wrong, this adaptation does have its moments and manages to create an overall uncomfortable athmosphere with its mix of 'Stand by me'-like coming of age drama and horror.
- First of all, lets transform this into an HBO-series with 10 episodes. You wouldn't have to squeeze all important plot points into three hours and could show a bit more scary stuff than on cable tv.
- Secondly, lose the strict separation of the childhood years and the grown-up's return to Derry. The novel spends much more time with the kids and most of the stuff happens to them. Maybe the separation was made in order not to confuse the audience. But I believe viewers are more intelligent than studios think and can handle some time lapses. King chose that structure for a reason, so why not stick to it?
- In modern television it is not unusual to have a whole episode with only character introduction, development and motivation. Not every episode must have a climax as we learned from watching Breaking Bad or maybe even Game of Thrones. This version kinda succeeds in bringing us close to the kids but the adults stay relatively flat. The reason for that is that here, every 20 minutes or so a little cliffhanger had to be created for commercial breaks on television to hook the audiences. In the perfect version we could enjoy a whole episode without anything scary only to be hit all the harder in the next one.
- Finally the ending... (no spoilers) In the novel, the final confrontation is intercut between the kids and the adults. The two stories move forward similarly and help each other. How perfect would it be to have that in a series instead of basically repeating the same ending 1,5 hours later. Also, in our perfect version I would prefer a cgi-finale that could really bring across the mythical and strange quality of the novel. But I guess, considering the date of release and the budget of the mini-series, the film-makers did a decent job.
Now I really wish I could see this perfect version of 'It' and wouldn't have to live with this version. But I still prefer it to the 2017-version which also separates the children's and adult's stories but also exaggerates everything and relies to heavily on jump scares.
One can only hope...
Why does it all look so fake?
We live in an era in which foto real effects are not that hard to achieve. Many movies with smaller budgets look more real than this. Why?? Don't they care or worry about that stuff anymore?
This problem is not specific to Aquaman, but to all DCEU movies. To me, it just was more apparent here. If you want to show a lighthouse, go outside and film an actual lighthouse. They do exist, you know? If movies don't even try to make the effects seem real, where is the difference to a video game which you can't play?
I know that this review doesn't contain any info about story, acting and other components of Aquaman. I guess you've read it all before.
See this movie if you like Vfx that shout 'I'm here, don't I look cool' and if you watch everything superhero-related. You might have a good time.
Das Rheingold (1992)
I'll keep this brief. Wagner's epic opera quadrilogy doesn't need any more praise.
This version is beautifully filmed. Multiple cameras were used to capture wide angles as well as closer views of the characters. We can see the whole stage and the facial expressions of the singers involved. You can't get this experience in the opera house.
The use of fog and light is quite efficient here and sets the mood well. This compensates for the otherwise rather simple stage decoration.
The orchestra delivers a nuanced, detailed sound instead of a typical wagnerian wall of sound that is too often associated with his music. I enjoyed this. It is a nice testament to Barenboim's conducting.
My only criticism concerns the quality of the DVD's picture and sound. It isn't bad per se. But you can clearly see and hear that Das Rheingold was filmed during the 1990s. Had it been filmed today in High Definition and in surround sound, the experience would have been even more immersive. But this is just a minor flaw. With a good sound system the opera is still an acoustic feast.
Funny swabian 'remix' of a classic
This film is basically a remix of a 1960s classic from director Fritz Lang, one of many movies revolving around the mysterious criminal mastermind Dr. Mabuse. The original is a pretty straightforward thriller with some undertones of mystery.
But this remix is something different. It is the classic film with new synchronisation by swabian comedian Dodokay who became locally famous because of his youtube-versions of stuff like '24' or Star Wars in which he put new texts in the swabian dialect under the original pictures. This is his first full-length synchronisation of a complete movie.
Being swabian myself, I was laughing my butt off because of the inside jokes you only understand if you know the dialect and if you've got some knowledge about swabian clichee. I can't really say what the experience would be for an audience from other parts of Germany or even other countries.
You've got to hand it to Dodokay that je really put some effort into this movie. This isn't cheaply done. Great care is put into all aspects of the film:
- Dodokay lends his voice to all the characters in the movie and makes them recognizable.
- New music was composed for this.
- It doesn't tell exactly the same story as the original. Many scenes are cut or put together differently so that it suits Dodokays new story.
- Subtle vfx are used to give the movie a more local feel. The number plates of the cars for example have been digitally replaced so that they match the area in which the story takes place. This is only one of many examples.
So, all in all, this movie isn't for everyone. It helps if you're Swabian or have at least a certain interest in the dialect. If you also like classic movies, this one is perfect for you. You'll probably laugh a lot. If not, save your money or buy yourself a swabian dictionary.
Great 80s action film
In 'Predator' Arnold Schwarzenegger and a bunch of tough guys fight in the jungle but end up fighting someone entirely different, someone not from this world. You don't need more information to know what you're up for.
I love this movie although it's hard to ignore some flaws which are typical for the action cinema of the 1980s. Let me give you some examples.
Arnold's oneliners and his impersonation of a one-man-army feels kind of dated today. The age of muscle-packed, almost immortal heroes is over, at least for now. This was typical for the 1980s. If you want to see the prototype of this kind of movie making, I recommend 'Commando' from 1985. The aforementioned bunch of tough guys is as clichee and one-dimensional as it gets.
Apart from these minor flaws, the movie rocks. Here are some reasons for that:
*It is violent and doesn't hold back anything. Although a big budget movie, it doesn't even think about going PG13. *The setting in the jungle is great and creates lots of opportunities for hiding, sneaking around and danger in general. *Predator still looks good. Watch it in HD and you'll forget that it's more than 30 years old. *The Predator is one of the best movie monsters ever designed although some people make fun of his dreadlocks. He is instantly recognizable and therefore iconic. Besides, like in Spielberg's 'Jaws', it takes a long time until we really see the monster. All we get until quite late in the movie are glimpses, which makes for additional suspense. *I like that Arnold doesn't stand a chance in a hand to hand-combat against the Predator. Unlike most of his movies, he isn't the physically strongest of the characters here. That's why we feel more worried about him than usual because at least here, something COULD happen to him.
In conclusion, 'Predator' is one of the best bad-ass action movies of the 1980s. I prefer it to all of the later sequels / reboots.
Incredibles 2 (2018)
What's with all the hate?
Let me start with a few words about what films are. Films are manipulation of the audience. They manipulate our feelings through pictures, music, sound, acting, mise-en-scene, editing etc...
Disney and Pixar represent the absolute mainstream of film-making. It almost is expected of them to send messages to their supposedly young audience (although I can't imagine all the hate comments were written by the target audience...).
Most of the time Disney sends out messages to manipulate us. Sometimes it's "It's okay to be different", sometimes "friendship is important", "Stay true to yourself" or "fight for your dream". Almost everybody can relate to those.
In Incredibles 2 it's time for female empowerment. This is just as valid as the other messages I mentioned but as you can see when you read other comments about the film, it creates some controversy. I think it's unfair to shout 'Propaganda!!' here and not also talk about Moana, Frozen and other films that have strong female characters. I think all the criticism is not valid. Mr Incredible isn't weak here. He actually is the most relatable of all the Parr family. He's not un-manly because he takes care of the kids and fails at first. He's manly because ultimately he succeeds in the end. Elasti-Girl isn't better than him. She puts career and the 'greater good' before family. This is controversial at least. She also draws wrong conclusions, needs rescuing and isn't the most capable of the Supers. So what is all the fuzz about?
This is a fun film that has a message not everybody might enjoy but that is equally important in our day and age. Yes, it might be too much for 5 year old kids. Then for god's sake, don't take your 5 year old to a film that's about a superhero family and takes about 2 hours! See 'Cars' again on Disney channel! I truly enjoyed the spy movie spoof moments, the whole family dynamic, the humour (for lots of the jokes it also helps if you're older than 5...), the animation and yes, also the message, although I admit it is quite in-your-face.
If like me you don't trust 1-star and 10-star ratings, watch the 'Incredibles 2'. I can't imagine any sane person that enjoyed the first part or the "How to train your dragon" films to leave the cinema truly disappointed.
Finally, this is a way better sequel than 'Finding Dori' was. This one takes more risks and tells a different story than the first part.
This is not a children's film. If you see it as a children's film 'Legend' fails. It's too dark, strangely paced and not as talky as most kiddie flicks today.
See it as a beautifully shot fantasy, full of stunning imagery, great costumes, archetypical metaphorical characters. Then it delivers and stands the test of time. I just saw it on bluray and it looks amazing. Ridley Scott's style is in full bloom. Here, really every frame is a painting.
The story is really straightforward and simple. I want go into detail. It's basically your typical 'hero rescues princess from the bad guy's lair' story. What some people don't seem to understand is that this simplicity is intentional. The viewer is part of a fight, metaphorical and literal. It is the fight for innocence (impersonated by the beautiful Mia Sara) and how easy it is to corrupt innocence. This is what Scott is telling us in my opinion.
It's a valuable point if you take a look at the world we live in nowadays. I work with children every day and I can't help but notice that even 10-12 year old kids have lost part of their sense of wonder, childish joy, curiosity... in a word, their innocence. This film shows that it's the easy thing to lose and the hard thing to maintain it. Scott's dreamlike visuals appeal to our sense of wonder and ask us to just sit back, enjoy it and not to worry too much about storytelling, twists and turns or even realistic characters.
But even if you leave all that aside, you can enjoy 'Legend' as one of the most beautifully shot films you will ever see.
Das Boot (1981)
I've recently been to the Bavaria Filmstudios in Munich and entered the real 'Boot' that Petersen shot this film in. When you're inside for more than five minutes you forget that you're not inside a real sub. It's that kind of detail that allows Petersen's camera to float freely through the ship. There simply isn't a bad angle in there.
The atmosphere inside also enhanced the performance of the actors. A lot of them deliver their career highlight in Das Boot.
Other reviewers mentioned all the great things about this film. I agree with them. It is one of the anti-war-films with the most impact I know. It's not important for the viewer whether the soldiers are Germans, Americans or Japanese. War is the same for everybody. We can relate and feel with the mariners. Few films are that intense, suspenseful and claustrophobic.
There's just one thing I'd like to add: The climax of the film shows the whole futility of war better than any other I can remember. I'm not going to spoil anything (If you've already seen it you will remember). When I saw it first I couldn't help but feel cheated. But then I thought about it and now I think that this ending just adds to the realism of the film. It is a punch in the face that shows that in war there are no heroes and emphasizes the complete senselessness of it all.
If you haven't seen this already, stop reading now and watch it. For the more patient viewer I also recommend the 4.5 hour long tv mini series.
Gone with the Wind (1939)
How do you rate a classic?
You have to acknowledge the grandeur and technical and logistical achievements of Gone with the wind. Even by today's standards the filmmaking is superb, let alone if you compare it to other films of the late 1930s.
Which leads to my question: can you watch this film today and rate it with a contemporary view on cinema? Or is it unfair to apply 21st century standards to this epic?
If you take a look at it with a modern approach, it's not hard to see flaws:
- it's very long and inconsistently paced.
- the views on slavery and the 'happy big black mamas' is dated and hard to bear.
- the (over-) acting looks fake.
- a spoiled brat is our heroine.
Having said that, I still love this film. Seeing it is like coming home. Nostalgia is a powerful sensation and I feel it every time I watch it.
In conclusion, I think Gone with the wind isn't a perfect film. But it is perfectly realized and can still warm your heart if you can switch off your 21st century views and ignore what you're used to seeing nowadays. Only then can you truly appreciate the film for what it is: a highly influential masterpiece.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
I really like this film. And not for the obvious reasons, the action, the fx, the humour...
I liked it for allowing a relationship that actually feels genuine. My favourite scenes are the ones where Andrew Garfield interacts with Emma Stone and/or Dane de Hahn. In these scenes the director Webb proves that he's great at portraying twenty-somethings.
The chemistry between Garfield and Stone is real and that comes across nicely. I actually cared for them and wanted them to be together. Not to spoil anything, but in the end I couldn't help but cry. Not having read the comic books and steering clear of certain online platforms, I didn't know what would happen and was shocked. All those deaths at the end of Infinity War didn't mean that much to me because I don't have any emotional connection to most of them. This was different.
Finally, in my humble opinion, Andrew Garfield is the best actor having played Spiderman. Toby Maguire was likeable, sure. But there were scenes where he 'acted' too much. With Garfield it all feels more natural. Tom Holland is fun. But that's it.
So come for the fun, come for the action. Stay for the characters and their chemistry.
Setup for part 3
I enjoyed this movie. The fx are good, the characters work, the creatures are likeable and the old Potter-feeling is still there.
I have one major concern though. This movie onky works as part of a larger story because it sets up parts 3-5. As a standalone experience it's not very good. It's fine to embed the story into a larger context but it also should work on its own as an entertaining experience.
This one feels more like two or three episodes of a tv series. But thus is made for the big screen! We now have to wait another two years to see how the story moves on. For a tv series this is fine. Worst case, we have to wait til the next season comes out.
So, filmmakers really should treat the material like a movie and not pretend it's part of a series. When you go to the cinema, you can expect to have a satisfying ending that gives closure to the story. This is possible even if you tell a larger story. The Potter films and the Lord of the rings are good examples.
Rowling is capable of writing such stories which is why I'm optimistic about how thus franchise is going to evolve.
Shutter Island (2010)
It actually gets better!
This is one of the rare movies that actually gets even better the second tine you see it. I'm not going to spoil anything, but when you've seen the movie once and then return to it, pay attention to slight details that foreshadow the truth behind the mystery.
The movie works fine when you see it for the first time, of course. But the remarkable achievement is that when you see it for the second time everything fits together. For that to work excellent acting and attention to detail is needed. So you can just marvel at the craftsmanship of Scorsese and the team who put Shutter Island together.
Deadpool 2 (2018)
This is what's wrong with Blockbusters today
In Deadpool 2 you can find lots of ingredients that are wrong about current Blockbusters under a magnifying glass. Here are some examples.
1. The good guy kills everyone but is mortified when a single person that accidentally means something to him dies. So he kills more people. Common practice in movies and politics.
2. How can the hero mean something if nothing can reeeeaally happen to him?
3. Using the R-rating as an excuse to squeeze in as much "dirty words" that wouldn't shock an 8 year old orphan.
4. Violence for the sake of violence. It doesn't mean anything and doesn't increase the fun in any way. Cgi limbs and blood always look fake.
5. Being 'meta' just to please the nerds and make people think of how clever they are to understand the popcultural references. In ten to fifteen years this movie will probably be terribly dated because of that.
6. Weakening every half emotional or serious scene with a laugh. This movie is so scared of allowing any real feeling that you can feel sorry for it. Why bother with showing serious stuff when nothing of it has any impact on the audience?
7. Plot seems to be overrated. Why confuse us with a real story when it's so much more entertaining to kill more people and drop more 'witty' oneliners?
I don't want to sound like an arthouse guru because I'm not. If you're one of those who can switch off their brains while watching a movie and are not appalled by the things I mentioned, this is your movie. It looks cool, it's loud and it doesn't expect a lot from its viewers. If you want a good comic book movie, return to Logan, The Dark Knight, Superman or even Howard the Duck.
For those who don't have unfair expectations
Rian Johnson had the hardest job in the universe: how to please fans of the original trilogy, attract new audiences and surprise all those who thought Episode 7 was a rip-off of Episode 4. So how did he do?
Johnson decided to make a bold movie that doesn't play it safe. Yes, it still feels like Star Wars but it moves into directions that are unexpected. Luke Skywalker is almost unrecognizable in his personality. He is a bitter, old man who doesn't think much of the jedi anymore. It takes a long time for him to get his moment in the sun. And then he's gone. Bam! Kylo Ren is a character whose outcome is still unclear after 2 films. His decisions are not simply bad or good. Like a real person he is conflicted and much less sure of his path than expected of a bad guy. Some think that Johnson or Disney killed Star Wars with this. I think that this film actually gives the franchise a dozen more options to move forward. Finally, I can't understand the hate by the same 'fans' who trashed Episode 7 for being too much of the same and now blame Episode 8 for being too different. Schizophrenia, anybody?
I loved many of the set pieces, Rey's training, the escape of the rebels from the star destroyer, the fight with the red guards, what happens to Snoke (he was the least interesting set-up in Episode 7 anyway) and the fight on the salt planet.
Sure there are some flaws in logic when you over-analyse. At times you are required to suspend disbelief. But cmon, it's Star Wars for heavens sake! Had people always been so nitpicking, the old trilogy should have been smashed too. Instead we should take the old films and the new ones as what they are: fun innersive adventures for kids of all ages.
Rise of the planet of the... dinosaurs?
I truly enjoyed this. It's bold, quite different than the previous jurassic movies but still respectful of the beginning of the franchise. It even reinterprets some classic scenes like the kitchen scene from the first one, the scenes with the hunters and the dangerously fragile glass from the second one.
I even enjoyed the 'Resident Evil with dinosaurs at the mansion' part of it.
One worry remains: The ending just feels like the reboot of Planet of the apes, only with dinosaurs. Please, please, please don't let that become true. As good as the ape-movies were, I honestly don't think we need another variation of those and I'm quite sure it wouldn't work.
But give me dinosaurs in a confined space (park, island, mansion...) I'm game for more.